SELECTING THE PROPER RESPIRATOR AND THE PROPER FILTER - A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH

LEGISLATION

Full face supplied air

Except where exposure has been controlled by other means, the following legislation requires RPE in hazardous areas: Control of Lead at Work Regulations (1980) CLAW, ionizing Radiation Regulations (1984) IR; Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations (1987) CAW; Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (1988) COSHH

TYPICAL HAZARDS

Toxic Dust (particles) and Mist
Gases and Vapors

Fumes, Oxygen Deficiency (less than 18% in air)  Microorganisms

Do not use filtering respirators where oxygen deficiency is suspected, use Self Contained Breathing Apparatus or Airline BA under supervision.

RISK ASSESSMENT

A comprehensive assessment of hazards is essential under the legislation listed above. Check the contaminants.  Are they dusts, gases, vapors, or a mixture of each? Do contaminants have Occupational Exposure Limits? Check the concentrations by references to HSE Publication EH 40 (obtainable from HSE Library Service, Broad Lane, Sheffield S3 HQ or from your local Stationery Office). We world be pleased to assist in your assessment of suitable RPE, and provide you with further information where required.

PRODUCT STANDARDS / CE MARKINGS

CE Mark: Category 3 (Complex design, denoting risks of mortal danger, or that may seriously and irreversibly damage health). All RPE is classified in this category. Some of hte more commonly used RPE products and their EN Standards are shown below, together with EN Standards and colour coding for filters.
EN136: Full face filtering respirators (face piece only)
EN140: Half face filtering respirators (face piece only)
EN 141: Gas/vapour filters, Type A: Organic vapors     Colour     Code     Brown

Type B: Inorganic vapours    Colour      Code    Grey(Excl. CO)
Type E: Sulpher dioxide        Colour      Code      Grey(Exel. CO)
Other acid gases:                  Colour     Code     Yellow
Type K: Ammonia and derivatives Colour   Code     Light Green

These are classified by their capacity as 1 (Low) 2 (medium) 3 (High)
       EN143: Partial filters      Class P1     NPF  4    Half face Respirator    filters
                                             Class  P2S     NPF 12   Half face Respirator    filters
                 Colour/Code        Class P2SL   NPF 12   Half face Respirator    filters
                                             Class  P3S     NPF 50   Half face Respirator    filters
                                             Class  P3SL  NPF  50  Half face Respirator   filters
Key:   NPF  = Nominal protection factor    S - Solids   SL - Solids and liquids
EN149: Disposable filtering respirators incorporationg filter material.
EN137: Self contained breathing apparatus
EN139: Compressed airline breathing apparatus
EN405: Valved filtering half masks to protect against gases or gases and particles.